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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
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Reilly not convinced that electronic cigarettes are safe, orders review

The Health Minister says that he does not like the idea that the smokeless cigarettes are being promoted and sold on planes.

Pic: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has asked his department to examine research around electronic cigarettes because he is not convinced that they are a safe product.

Reilly said earlier today that e-cigarettes are not harmless and because they contain nicotine they can have addictive and cardio-vascular effects.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated products that turn nicotine into a vapor inhaled by the user.

“I am not convinced of [their] safety,” Reilly told the media earlier today. “I don’t like the idea that they are being promoted, particularly on flights. I don’t like that.”

Last week, the British regulatory authority said it was to control the sale of such products by classifying them as medicines and making them available over-the-counter.

There are no regulations controlling the sale or advertising of e-cigarettes in Ireland. They are widely available in some shops and online but not in pharmacies following the advice of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

Reilly added: “They might be safer than regular tobacco insofar as they don’t have all the other toxins in them but they still, I believe, are not safe. But I want to be on evidence-based ground when I make any possible decision in relation to them.”

Meanwhile, the minister also said today that it was his intention to ensure that all hospitals in Ireland are smoke-free by the end of the year both inside buildings and on the grounds of the health facilities.

Asked about the possibility of making the grounds of Leinster House smoke-free, Reilly said it was not his decision.

“Leinster House is something I can raise at the Cabinet but it is not within my gift to dictate that particular situation,” he said. “But I would agree that Leinster House ought to go that way and show leadership.”

Read: Electronic cigarettes to be sold as over-the-counter medicines in the UK

Reilly: I don’t want to make a big deal of the threat to burn down my home

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Hugh O'Connell

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